Princeton High School (Cincinnati, Ohio) star Brianna Sanders is coming off a torn left anterior cruciate ligament just a year ago. With her strength back she is hitting the court and has also figured out where she wants to play her college basketball. This week Sanders verbally committed to Ohio State and head coach Jim Foster.
Sanders chose the Buckeyes over Pittsburgh. Both schools began recruiting her early with Ohio State taking interest her freshman year and Pittsburgh coming into the picture her sophomore year.
“From the first moment I stepped on campus (Ohio State) felt like home,” Sanders said. “And the team is like a big ole family. It was a nice atmosphere.”
She knows a couple of current players; Lesselee Mason-Cox (though she is transferring out) was a high school teammate and fab-freshman Jantel Lavendar she has seen in her home state. Lavendar was named Big Ten Player of the Year as well as Big Ten Freshman of the Year this season. Sanders also played with incoming freshman point guard Samantha Prahalis at the adidas Top Ten All-America Camp. Prahalis was ranked as the No. 30 ranked player in the 2008 class by HoopGurlz.com and was perhaps the most entertaining player to watch in the country.
Sanders says she’s a player that works hard all the time and the 5-foot-11 guard should see time at both the two and the three for the Buckeyes. In high school she plays all three perimeter positions. Her biggest area for improvement is being more aggressive defensively to take advantage of her physical tools.
At the conclusion of her sophomore year Sanders was poised to have a solid club season with one of the best club teams in the country last year, Cincinnati’s Finest. In the first game of the spring evaluation period she tore her left ACL. She had surgery April 12, 2007 and started rehab the next day.
”I’m probably about 95-percent right now but I don’t think about it anymore,” Sanders said.
The injury didn’t dissuade any of Sanders’ schools of interest as an ACL injury has become almost common and the surgeries have become so proficient.
“Most of them stayed with me,” Sanders said of the schools recruiting her. “Most of the college coaches had players that were going through it and it’s not like it was back in the day.”
Sanders would recover and rejoin her high school team this season for the second half of their schedule. She has been playing with a brace and looks forward to an upcoming doctor’s appointment to reassess her knee’s strength and to determine if she can play without it.
As a barometer of Sanders’ ability before the injury, she was invited to participate in the USA Basketball Youth Developmental Festival in June 2007, but was not able to play. The USA YDF is one of the top honors for high school players and is as exclusive as any of the All-American teams out there.
In playing just half of her junior season she was still a second team All-League selection at Princeton and also an honorable mention for All-City honors. Sanders will be in Memphis, Tenn., for a tournament this weekend before heading to the All-Ohio Memorial Classic in May which has become one of the top events of the club season.